If you’re in sales of any kind, you know what a pleasure it is to have sales just rolling in without much effort on your part. This flow is far from automatic; it’s usually a reflection of strong positioning and a lot of previous work which is now bearing fruit.
The challenge for those of us selling our own services is to stay attentive to whether the work that is coming in on its own momentum is actually still the right work. There is a lag time between generating the work and getting the work, and by the time you get the work, it may no longer be the work that you want to do. This flags for me the importance of continuous attention and intention in our businesses. We need to make sure that the very thing we wanted — this flywheel of ongoing business — is in fact still the thing we want now. If not, we need to adapt before we think we need to.
The same is true in strategy implementation. We can monitor the extent to which our targets are being met, but to stay truly responsive, we also need to revisit whether we’re still going after what we actually need.
It’s a tricky balance, as decisions that have already been made shouldn’t be reopened too often. But if significant time has passed, and/or if the context has changed significantly in the meantime, it is wise to get in the habit of checking both if we’re “doing things right” and “doing the right things.”